YouTube TV joins the swelling ranks of virtual MVPDs. It is quite different from its rivals in several important respects. This will severely limit the number of people that subscribe.
Chapter 1: What content is provided (0:30)
YouTube TV is only available in 5 markets. In those markets subscribers will be able to watch their local NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox affiliates. The package of 40 channels for $35 a month is very sports heavy, with FOX, ESPN, CBS, NBC, and Comcast contributing their top sports properties.
Scripted shows are available through the four broadcast channels, as well as several basic cable channels like SyFy and USA. Youth oriented channels like The CW and Freeform are included. Channels from TV content providers like Viacom, Scripps, and Time Warner Inc. are not provided.
Chapter 2: What devices are supported (2:45)
Device support is limited. There is an app for Android and iOS devices. However, the only way to watch on TV is casting from the phone to Chromecast (older models may not work), and through an Android TV. I could not get the service working through a Chrome browser on a PC. Streaming quality is good to a smartphone, and not so good when cast to a TV.
Chapter 3: DVR functionality is the best yet (4:30)
DVR functionality is very good. Unlimited storage is provided and all shows are kept for 9 months. Pause, skip, rewind, fast-forward, and record seems to work with all channels, including ESPN.
The interface is very easy to use. It is especially easy to find all the games for a specific sport, or for a team. Can you see an interface demonstration below.
Chapter 4: YouTube TV’s biggest problems (6:40)
It will take Google a long time to get the rights to the big four broadcasters in all the major markets in the US. That means roll-out will be very, very slow.
Ad breaks in on-demand content mirror original broadcast position and length. I had to sit through 5 unskippable ads during one break while watching Big Bang Theory.
Voice search is weak. Searching on a title or genre seemed to work. But anything more complicated did not. This is surprising when viewed in light of the much more robust Google Home AI assistant.
Chapter 5: The best customer for YouTube TV (8:25)
Sports-obsessed youth lacking access to their parents pay TV subscription should take a good look at YouTube TV. Others may want to check out Sling TV, and PS Vue first.